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Fitness Tips For 2/4/2015
The Essence of Strength Training
If you have ever had a drink with your friends at the local and they
ask you why you pump iron. Or they start talking about all the muscle
that you carry and that having so much muscle on your body is a waste
because you will never be asked to use that strength.
What do you say? Do you tell them that the grinding blood sweat and
tears that you put into your intense workouts is all because you want
to put on muscle, or do you tell them the truth?
The cosmetic reason to pump iron on a regular basis will not last
year after year. Many bodybuilders feel that the benefit of gaining
muscle is just a side effect from getting stronger. There is a
certain self-respect any person will feel when they lift a heavier
weight than they did yesterday.
Strength cannot be increased by eating junk food and training once
a week. Strength is achieved with lifestyle and adapting to the
demands that your body puts on you trying to repair the muscle damage
that you did at the gym. The principal on which bodybuilding is
founded is progressive resistance.
Strength comes from the consistency of progressively resisting,
pushing your muscles to the point of failure. Strength is borne out
of intensity, it comes from reaching just a little bit farther,
pushing the envelope. If you can lift a heavier weight in the same
movement than you could last week or last month then you are gaining
Any bodybuilder that trains consistency for more than a year knows
the advantages it can add to how he/she feel about themselves. Just
because a man with muscle can break a door down with one hand does
not mean that is what he will do.
The essence of strength is the journey it takes to achieve that
strength. Just like fitness it only lasts as long as the extremes are
tested. If a world class marathon runner did not train for two months
he/she would lose half their fitness and would not be able to compete
at the same level without training again.
Strength is muscle, the stronger you are the more muscle you will
have. Genetically we all seem to be attracted to muscle because it is
an indication of the ability to live a controlled and disciplined
life. It was this attraction that originally started the sport of
bodybuilding but the rules changed.
John Sandow who is considered the father of bodybuilding was
appealing to this natural genetically appealing muscle. The basis
of a bodybuilding competition are symmetry, muscle density, balance
During the early 1980's when the fitness boom was just getting
started there was a competition at the Mr. Olympia event where big
Lee Haney competed for first place with the perfectly balance
aesthetic Bob Paris. It was an IFBB decision made by Ben and Joe
Weider that ultimately decided the direction bodybuilding would go.
The attempt at achieving both aesthetics and size at the same time is
the reason we see the current Mr. Olympia looking the way that he
does. Compared to the aesthetically pleasing bodies of Steve Reeves or
Frank Zane the Mr. Olympias we see on stage these days have taken
aesthetics a step too far.
The natural genetic appeal to the essence of strength that women have
for men should not be the motivation to train. Although it usually is
the only reason why someone might start training with weights on a
regular basis it certainly is not sustainable on a long term basis.
Bodybuilding competitions are not attended by thousands of admiring
girls because that is not the objective. As mentioned above the essence
of strength is about the journey in gaining muscle and not the end
game like a bodybuilding competition.
Bodybuilders who stand up on stage have put an all-out effort to
present the audience with the body they see onstage. Months and years
of preparation resulting in this muscle gain come as a result of
increasing strength and this is not appreciated by most people.
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The Essence of Strength Training
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assume any liability for the information contained herein.
The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion
of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice.
Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed
health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you
begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.